Piece Comment

Review of The Street of the Cauldron Makers

A superb piece ostensibly about a single street in Istanbul, but of course about much much more: cultural identity and government's attempts to control it; ethnic "cleansing"; historical memory and forgetting. Elif Shafak's voice is almost as captivating as her observations, memories and metaphors. "Our conversation with the past has been broken, but our history, our stories, lie here, in the layers just beneath our feet." The writer's musings are interwined with sounds and voices (human and feline) of the "Street of the Cauldron Makers." A moving combination travelogue and radio essay, infused with historical complexity, flawlessly produced.